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We study the oxidation of vacancies in graphene by ab initio atomistic thermodynamics to identify the dominant reaction mechanisms. Our calculations show that the low-temperature oxidation occurs via a two-step process: Vacancies are initially saturated by stable O groups, such as ether (C-O-C) and carbonyl (C¼O). The etching is activated by a second step of additional O 2 adsorption at the ether groups, forming larger O groups, such as lactone (C-O-C¼O) and anhydride (O¼C-O-C¼O), that maydoi:10.1103/physrevlett.102.166104 pmid:19518729 fatcat:dgueajhmhfgedablfgddyyhn6i